How much do you spend on Christmas gifts for your family? (Broken Down!)

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Unfortunately for many of us, the holiday season is an incredibly busy and stressful time of year. We’re no longer the children simply eager to open up gifts on Christmas morning.

Instead, we are the Christmas gift-givers for all our family members which means creating a specific budget, wrapping gifts, and trying to buy exactly what each family member wants without going into debt.

According to an October 2019 National Retail Federation survey, consumers are expected to spend an average of $659 on gifts for everyone alone.

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That’s a lot of money! But how much should you actually be spending on your family? Let’s look into an exact range to stick within so you don’t dig yourself a debt hole come New Year. It’s important to adjust your budget accordingly to your income and the amount you believe is feasible around Christmas time.

According to experts from an article on Bankrate, this is how a Christmas gift budget should be broken down;

  1. Spouses and Partners – $100
  2. Parents – $75-$100
  3. Siblings – $50
  4. Children – $75

How to figure out your Christmas budget 

Splitting up your gift budget between family and friends

Having a conversation with your family about how much to spend on Christmas for each other can be hard. You want to show how much you appreciate them, but you don’t want to overdo it. Spending too much on gifts might seem like bragging or make them feel uncomfortable. 

When it comes to splitting a gift budget between family and friends, it’s always best to either split evenly or spit the budget so that your family has more. 

Fortunately, you also have the option to create hand-made gifts specifically for friends that are low-budget and items they would cherish forever. 

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    Deciding how much to spend on your significant other

    When it comes to significant others, it’s likely they understand the stress you are going through come the holiday season. Many will likely be fine anything in terms of gifts for Christmas. It’s important to sit down and create a strict budget between the two of you, so someone is not spending too much money and the other feel bad.

    According to Business Insider, the average couple spends about $100 on one another. If you’re absolutely stuck on what to get your significant other for Christmas and are tired of the same old socks and candles gifts, look for gifts that center around experiences. This not only avoids clutter but can be something you two share together for a memory that lasts a lifetime. Compared to a gadget that lasts 6 months.

    How Much to Spend on Christmas Gifts for Kids?

    When it comes to children around Christmas time, it’s very easy to go over budget rather quickly. You notice something in the toy store and then something else and then another item and the next thing you know your shopping cart is full of expensive toys.

    Don’t be that parent this time of year. It’s important to really remember your exact budget and stick to it. Most experts recommend $75 as a good average to spend on Christmas gifts. This would either be one large gift or a few smaller ones. 

    Christmas is also a great time to teach children the importance of money and why we cannot spend hundreds of dollars on gifts each year. 

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    How much does Santa spend per child?

    When it comes to Santa’s gifts we have you covered in a recent article we’ve written about ways to handle Santa come Christmas time.

    Some of our notable pieces of advice include buying gifts at a certain time for the best discounts, and the 4 gift rule which includes;

    1. Something they want
    2. Something they need
    3. Something to wear
    4. Something to read

    It’s recommended that Santa stays within the same range of mom and dad which is an average of $75.

    How Much Should You Spend on your parents and siblings?

    When budgeting for your parents and siblings its in your best interest to put aside no more than $75-$100 for each group. If you have a big family and lots of siblings, this range can go down. 

    A great budget-friendly gift option is that of an experience. Some families opt to instead exchange experiences like a family concert or family outing of a play. These gift options are a great way to not only save money, but spend quality family time together.

    If you have a large family, you an also draw names to see who will get a gift for each sibling (works with cousins, aunts, and uncles too). This is a great way to save money for those that have large holiday gatherings!

    Should you buy your friends Christmas gifts if you’re on a budget?

    This is a very difficult question to answer and it depends on how much leeway you have in your budget. When it comes to Christmas gift budget creation and you realize you have no room to buy gifts for friends AND family. That’s okay!

    A simple Christmas card is sufficient if money is very tight. 

    On the other hand, if you do have the ability to buy Christmas gifts for your friends here are some things to consider;

    1. Which friends will you buy gifts for and which will receive a card if anything?
    2. How much money do you plan to spend on each friend? A good range is between $15-$25

    How much you spend on presents is unique to you and your situation

    The amount of money you budget specifically for Christmas gifts is dependent on your own monthly income. The amount of money one person spends on their family may not transpire the same to you. 

    Take this time to teach your children the importance of budgeting and the value of money.

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    Leave a Reply

    1. I collect all the photos of my best friend and my children over the year and then I do Google photos and make her a book

    2. Hey Shannon!
      You have some great ideas here. Perfect timing for me to read this post as well. I just had a conversation with a friend earlier tonight about being ready for Christmas. She let on that she spent $3,000 this year! Luckily it was a text conversation so she couldn’t see my chin hit the floor and my eyes bugging out! Reading your post helped to reinforce that what we spend on Christmas is reasonable and appropriate. And you are so right, every family is different and celebrates Christmas in their own way. Great post!


    hi! I'm shannon

    I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.